US lauds EU bid to cut terror funding, wants more
BRUSSELS: The US on Wednesday praised the EU for its latest bid to choke funding of terrorism and crime but said more work was needed.
A day after EU finance ministers agreed that travellers entering or leaving the European Union with more than 10,000 euros ($13,040) would have to declare the cash in writing, a senior US official said cooperation on fighting terrorism was going well.
“The action is an excellent step,” Stuart Levey, US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, told a news conference in Brussels. But the US wanted the 25-member bloc to do more by blacklisting some of the organisations operating in its borders.
Levey insisted there was no difference between the military and political wings of organisations that were willing to use violent means to achieve political ends.
“With the current situation in Israel and the territories, it is even more important to be firm on that issue,” he said.
The EU last year put Hamas, which advocates the destruction of Israel, on a blacklist of banned organisations whose assets must be seized.
But Hamas might still be receiving money from organisations allowed to operate in the EU, according to Levey, “There are still charities operating within Europe that are, in our view, clearly funding Hamas.”
The EU’s top counter-terrorism official, Gijs de Vries, did not directly address Levey’s demands but told the same news conference that rekindling the Middle East peace process would be vital to improved security in the region and elsewhere. reuters